Gluten Free Camping – or cottaging!

I grew up camping. Mostly the car kind of camping (food stays in your car but you stay in a tent) because I was a wee little one year old when it started but we went every summer until I was around 13.

Two weeks of living in a tent, bike riding, campfires and swimming in lakes as a youngster! I still enjoy it because disconnecting from social media, work, and other people is sometimes exactly what you need. I love ya, but not 24/7 365 days/year. Know what I’m saying? 🙂

Camping could easily be a nightmare for someone who is gluten free because the typical meals planned are usually cheap food and breakfasts of  cereal/pancakes/PB sandwiches, lunches are almost always sandwiches, dinners are almost always burgers and/or hot dogs. GLUTEN GLUTEN GLUTEN GLUTEN with a side of gluten. And not very nutritious.

Gluten free bread is the worst traveling companion because it crumbles, and it can grow mold easily. Plus I personally don’t feel it tastes good unless it’s toasted. So it’s not as easy as “just bring GF bread” to help with camping meals. It’s also a lot easier if everyone just eats the same thing and you’re not always bringing two breads, two crackers, two cereals, etc so I rely more on potatoes and actual gluten free grains for meals when I go camping.

So here are a whole bunch of gluten free (and real food) camp food friendly items that you can pick and choose from that hopefully will satisfy everyone you’re traveling with so everyone can eat cohesively 🙂

Non Fridge Gluten Free Camping Foods

  • Sweet Potatoes – awesome over a fire or a quick hash in a fry pan for breakfast
  • Kasha – toasted buckwheat great for making into a cereal with raisins and coconut or nuts
  • Homemade granola – my crazy granola recipe
  • Homemade cookies – my quinoa coconut banana cookies (although could be in the fridge)
  • Nuts/seeds/Trailmix – any mixture you want like almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, dried fruit, large flake coconut
  • Tuna – I love the raincoast brand, not only because it’s better for you, but because the pop top means easy opening
  • Mary’s Crackers – and lots of ’em!
  • Chocolate – yum chocolate 🙂 (make sure to check brands)
  • Bars – a mixture of any of the gluten free whole food bars or homemade ones
  • Herbs and spices – my go-to’s are always curry, basil, and cinnamon
  • Nut butter – Artisana makes little nut butter packages if you feel those you are traveling with won’t be careful with contamination or you can bring a small container for yourself that’s labelled
  • Protein Powder (especially if you’re extra active)
  • Onions, garlic, ginger
  • Olive oil & balsamic vinegar (in small containers)
  • Coconut oil – doubles a curl defrizzer for hair and a face moisturizer, and tiny packages are available through Artisana
  • Honey
  • Canned beans/lentils (I say canned because do you really want to be spending a couple hours soaking and cooking dry beans? Save that for home)
  • Coconut milk
  • Brown rice (note – soak this while you’re off swimming to reduce cooking time)
  • Quinoa
  • Organic corn chips
  • Seabear ready to eat vacuum sealed wild salmon
  • GF beef jerky
  • Brown rice cakes
  • GF condiments that don’t have junk in them
  • GF breads if you want – but unfortunately I do find they don’t travel well, and most are full o’ crap
  • GF cereals , you know, the healthy kind 😉

Gluten Free Items to Keep Cold

  • Meats & Fish – the best are thinner ones or kebob style for easier and quicker grilling
  • Eggs – quickest breakfast item around that everyone usually loves
  • Hummus/Salsa
  • Vegetables (doesn’t really require that much ice to keep cool and fresh) – bring a TON!
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges won’t really need a cooler with ice but berries would
  • Avocado – doesn’t always need to be cool
  • Organic tofu
  • Greek yogurt/Cottage cheese/Cheese

Gluten Free Camping Meals & Snacks for All

  • Scrambled eggs, spinach, sweet potato hash, fruit
  • Fire Frittata with veg and sweet potato and avocado, fruit – cast iron skillets are the best for this on fire
  • Chicken or tofu skewers with vegetables and sweet potatoes on a stick over a fire
  • Grilled chicken/beef/pork with foil packet potatoes and veggies
  • GF hamburgers (with or without bun) with salad and/or home fries made over the fire
  • Bean or chicken curry all in one pot over a fire
  • Spinach salad with tuna or beans, nuts, apple, olive oil, vinegar
  • Trailmix
  • Jerky
  • Fruit and nut butter/nuts
  • Veggies/Marys Crackers and Hummus
  • Gluten free homemade granola or kasha bowls with raisisn coconut and almond
  • Daal and rice – I made this one year but it was the longest meal ever to make 🙂
  • Mary’s crackers and nut butter
  • Mary’s crackers and avocado
  • Tacos – organic ground meat with organic corn shells or corn chips with salsa, avocado, veggies and try using curry powder yum!
  • Jambalaya – this usually cooks pretty well over a fire which involves rice, veggies, GF sausage, shrimp but could use chicken or nothing or beans
  • Good ol’ beans n’ rice
  • Picnic lunch – mary’s crackers, hummus, fruit, veggies, trailmix, etc

So, as you can see, camping can involve more than just hot dogs and hamburgers! If you’re camping without a car and you’re hiking to your spot then obviously choose the lighter weight items (ie. not potatoes) and no fridge items. Some people even dehydrate things like tomato sauce to bring with them – might lighter and takes up less room!

Happy camping, outdoor living or traveling! Be creative, be safe, and enjoy!

What’s your favourite gluten free camping meal? Would you add something to this list?

About Sarah Maughan

Sarah Maughan is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, ON and has been consulting since 2009. Her website aims to educate you, make you laugh, help you live and inspire you to eat whole food! To stay up to date sign up for free blog and recipe updates! In the meantime, empower your body with food!
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